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Seared Duck Breast with Yam Ravioli and Cranberry-Lemongrass Sauce

Ming Tsai shares the secrets of his cranberry and lemongrass sauce, which goes perfectly with his duck recipe.


  • Seared Duck Breast with Yam Ravioli

  • 4 Pekin duck breasts, trimmed, scored

  • 2 large yams or sweet potatoes, forked, foiled and baked thru

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

  • 1 package wonton wrappers

  • 1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water for egg wash

  • 1/2 cup Cranberry-Lemongrass Sauce, warmed

  • Grapeseed or canola oil for cooking

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Cranberry and Lemongrass Sauce

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white part only

  • 4 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half

  • 21/2 cups red wine

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted

  • Grapeseed or canola oil for cooking

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • For the Seared Duck Breast with Yam Ravioli::

  • 1.

    Season duck breasts with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a saute pan or heavy cast iron pan on low heat, place breasts, skin-side down, and render the breasts until crispy and brown, about 12-15 minutes. When the breasts are crispy, transfer to a plate, meat-side down (which is still raw). Remove pan from heat, keeping fat in pan for cooking ravioli.

  • 2.

    To make the ravioli filling: slice hot yams in half and scoop yam into a bowl. Fold in butter, syrup and five spice; check for flavor and season. To assemble ravioli: lay out a wonton wrapper, place a small mound (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) of filling in center, taking care not to get it on edges of wrapper (about 1/4-inch border). Brush the edges with egg wash and top with a second wrapper, pressing firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

  • 3.

    Reheat the duck fat over medium heat and sear duck breasts, meat-side down, until medium-rare, about 3-4 minutes. Let duck rest on board, meat-side down, for 5 minutes before slicing. In the same pan, fry the ravioli on both sides in the duck fat, about 1-2 minutes.

  • 4.

    To serve, place 2 ravioli on plate, surround with duck slices and garnish with sauce.

  • For the Cranberry and Lemongrass Sauce::

  • 1.

    In a medium saucepan coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, saute shallots, garlic and lemongrass until soft, about 2 minutes. Add cranberries and saute another 2 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Deglaze with wine, reduce by 75%. Add chicken stock and reduce by 50%. Stir in lemon juice and sugar and whisk in the butter. Check for flavor and season, if necessary.


Makes about 7 cups of sauce.

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